Written by our Ambassador for Germany, Austria and Switzerland

15th anniversary of Demon Days by Gorillaz

Gorillaz
Foto: Kamiel Scholten / Festileaks (Lowlands 2018)
Athanasios Kouklas
Written by Athanasios Kouklas, our Ambassador for Germany, Austria and Switzerland
You're reading an article by a Festileaks Ambassador. These are reporters located throughout Europe and the world. The ambassadors write about what is happening in their region, in a way you can only do when you're a local. Articles by ambassadors are in English. Read more.

On May 11 2005, the English virtual rock band Gorillaz, release their second studio album Demon Days. As a celebration of the album’s 15th anniversary, we will be having a look at what made this record so unique.

Gorillaz were founded in 1998 by Damon Albarn and visual artist Jamie Hewlett. Since then, the band has released six albums and won various awards including one Grammy Award. Gorillaz have also performed at many major music festivals around the world and are often praised for their special and energetic shows.

Tracklist

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Demon Days

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Demon Days containts fifteen songs and lasts approximately 51 minutes. The album features many of the band’s most famous songs including ‘Feel Good Inc.’, ‘Dare’, ‘Dirty Harry’, ‘Kids with Guns’ and ‘El Mañana’. When Damon Albarn was asked to comment on the lyrical themes of the album at the time of its release, he said that as a whole it is meant to be a depiction of a night, a journey through a night, in which each track represents a confrontation with a personal ‘demon’. Moroever, the overall political situation with the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Tony Blair’s decision to commit British troops to the US-led campaign and the subsequent environmental decay were used to make political statement in Demon Days. Nonetheless, the album was a huge sucess for Gorillaz as it has been certified six times platinum in the UK and sold eight million copies worldwide.

Did you know that…

  • Demon Days features a variety of different artist among them are De La Soul (on ‘Feel Good Inc.’), Neneh Cherry, Martina Topley-Bird, Roots Manuva, MF DOOM (on ‘November Has Come’), Ike Turner, Bootie Brown (on ‘Dirty Harry’), Shaun Ryder (on ‘Dare’) and actor Dennis Hopper (on ‘Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head’)
  • … the album was first released on May 11 2005 in Japan and two weeks later in the United Kingdom
  • … the cover is based on the album Let It Be, from The Beatles.
  • … before releasing their third studio album Plastic Beach five years later, Gorillaz released a compilation album, which contains B-sides, remixes and bonus tracks  recorded during Demon Days sessions.
  • ‘All Alone’ was partially recorded in Nigeria, and originates from a jam session from Damon Albarn’s other band The Good The Bad and The Queen
  • … the original titles for this album were called ‘We Are Happy Landfill’ and ‘Reject False Icons’ 
  • …  the album’s opener, ‘Intro’ features a sample from the soundtrack to the 1978 horror film Dawn of the Dead.

Gorillaz

Gorillaz was created by Damon Albarn in 1998 and consists of four animated members: 2-D (vocals), Murdoc Niccals (bass), Noodle (guitar) and Russel Hobbs (drums). Although these characters are fictional, they have contributed to the legacy and universe of the band. Their musical style consists of different elements, including hip hop, electronic music and alternative rock. Gorillaz released their self-titled debut album in 2001 and has since sold over eight million copies worldwide. In November 2005, Gorillaz performed a five night residency at the Manchester Opera House in Manchester, England in which the album Demon Days was presented in its entirety. You see the performance in the video above.

Athanasios Kouklas
Molecular Biology student, currently living in Switzerland! From Thessaloniki, Greece. Travel, music and festival enthusiast. Been to Pinkpop, Rock Werchter, Rock am Ring, Southside and numerous concerts of all kinds in Europe. Favourite bands include: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Rammstein, Foo Fighters, Motörhead and The Rolling Stones..